I've heard and read lots of times people saying that Maddie didn't break the 4th wall because she didn't do it well, and that it was more of something David would do. I never got that, I thought no matter who did it, it was enjoyable to me. ;D
But here is, imo, Walter showing us how someone can break the 4th wall badly. When he leaves the office for the very last time (aka his second time?) he says goodbye to the staff, then looks into the camera and says: "Okay, are you happy now?" The first times I watched it, I didn't get who he was talking to. Could've been adressed to Maddie, or anyone in the staff. It just felt crazy to me (not in a funny way), and unnecessary. But maybe that's just me..
I remember watching these episodes when they first aired and being really angry with Maddie for getting married! I gather from reading various postings and articles on this site that this was a pretty well universal reaction.
I always felt that the writers/creators felt that they had got themselves into a corner with the whole Maddie / Walter thing and they extricated themselves from it as best they could. At the time I remember feeling that Walter/Denis Dugan was talking to us - the disgruntled members of the audience.
I think the reason that you perceive this as a bad wallbreaker, Jkalen is because it is said with spite/malice. All other wallbreakers that I can remember are fun, cheeky or otherwise cute asides. I can't recall any other character apart from D & M breaking the fourth wall.
I have to agree with Diane - I like this wallbreaker, as I see it as the writers accepting that Maddie marrying Walter wasn't perhaps the most popular decision ever made. He is definitely talking to the audience in my opinion and is a good moment because I don't think you would be expecting him to suddenly turn to the camera and address us directly. I also don't see it as bitter, but with a little wry humour which is quite clever as I think you can feel a little sympathy for him. Or am I being too soft? ;D
Could someone explain to me please what breaking the 4th wall means? I presume from reading the posts it's to do with the character speaking directly to camera to the viewers but I'm not sure exactly where this phrase comes from.
I did like this episode & I liked the way that Teri mentioned to David that Walter had been calling her, it makes you hope that they have a happy ending together & that all the loose ends are tied up.
You're right Helen it is when a character (in ML usually David) speaks directly to camera. The idea of a '4th wall' comes from the notion of a set having usually only 3 walls with the fourth wall existing only in the audience's imagination as we visualise the set being a 3D proper room. For reasons of camera positioning (or in the theatre - audience positioning) the 4th wall is not built. As an audience we suspend disbelief and watch the action as if we are privy to conversations taking place in a room. By breaking the 4th wall this supension of disbelief is broken and we are reminded that we are watching performers.
ML did this very well as not only did the characters speak directly to the camera but they also made reference to themselves being characters in a TV show. Hope this somehow makes sense!
I thought Walter breaking the 4th wall in this one was pretty appropriate. The plotline was universally panned, and I think it was fairly clever for the writers to tap into our collective anger and speak to it, directly. I don't know about anyone else, but I remember when he said, "There, ya happy now?" I screamed back at the TV, "YES!"